Sorry Leap Motion, Like 3DTV, Nobody Wants You

Let’s get one thing straight… consumers don’t like 3D. Well, ok, they like 3D for about 5 seconds then ADD kicks in and they get over it. (Gamers are an exception of course) Tech geeks, and especially graphics geeks, LOVE 3D.

For everyone else it’s mostly… Meh.

Nobody wants 3D on the web (except for gamers), nobody wants 3DTVs, and nobody is going to want a controller that works in 3D space (except gamers). It’s cool technology, but it is definitely a solution desperately searching for a problem. The problem is, there is no problem.

But some people don’t get it. Just as Microsoft failed to grasp that desktop computers are not tablets, Leap Motion is failing to grasp that desktop computers are not game machines. They are occasionally used as game machines, but when you’re not playing a game, you don’t want your computer to act like a Wii. I don’t think they even understand games, as gaming on the desktop is not usually a group activity like the Wii.  This failure of understanding is leading to some things like this unintentionally funny video showing how to use Final Cut Pro X to edit video with a wave of your hand. I’ve always wanted to be Tom Cruise, but… er, well, actually I don’t want to be Tom Cruise. Nevermind. So much for the one redeeming thing about that.

I can see some very niche uses for the Leap Motion device. Where there are groups of people around a screen (like Minority Report) it has the potential to be useful. For everyday computing or things like video editing? It’s ridiculous. Yes, some early adopter folks will buy it. However, it will eventually end up in the box in the back of their closet marked: ‘Things I will put in the tech museum I’ll open in my garage in 25 years’

One thought on “Sorry Leap Motion, Like 3DTV, Nobody Wants You”

  1. I disagree: As a designer it would be very useful for several specific tasks in motion graphics. It has the potential to replace the mouse. Yes, the video editing demo is silly. But i disagree that its only useful for 3D. The inherently 3 dimensional movements from a hand were used in Minority Report to manipulate 2D elements & actions on screen, not 3D (rewind/fast forward, swipe left and right etc). In the same way that a Wacom tablet allows illustrators to be more expressive than a mouse when interacting directly with a mouse. The leapmotion has the potential to do the same for animators of both 2D & 3D elements in a project.

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